Lakers blast Rockets; Leonard hits milestone

    GETTING AWAY: Lakers star LeBron James blows past Rockets big man Christian Wood in first half play. REUTERS PHOTO

    ANTHONY Davis scored 27 points and blocked three shots in his return from a one-game injury hiatus as the Los Angeles Lakers remained unbeaten on the road with a 120-102 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday (Monday in Manila).

    Davis, who missed the Lakers’ win over the Chicago Bulls last Friday with a right adductor strain, started 9 for 9 from the floor. LeBron James added 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while Montrezl Harrell produced 16 points and eight boards off the Lakers bench.

    The Lakers ran Houston ragged, totaling 32 fast-break points and added 62 points in the paint.

    Christian Wood paced the Rockets with 23 points while James Harden added 20 points and nine assists but committed seven turnovers. Houston shot just 12 for 41 from behind the arc.

    The Rockets used a 16-2 third-quarter run that featured eight points from Wood and a Harden 3-pointer to claw their way back into contention, cutting what was once a 27-point deficit to 11 points.

    But the Lakers sandwiched a John Wall turnover with layups from Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma in the fourth and reestablished a 20-point lead at 102-82 on another Kuzma layup.

    The Lakers reeled off a 12-0 blitz in the first quarter to establish their cushion, surviving the ejection of Markieff Morris with 2:15 left in the period.

    Houston, despite shooting just 27.3 percent and committing eight turnovers in the first, clawed to within 25-21 by the close of the frame based largely on 10 trips to the free-throw line.

    When the Lakers stopped fouling in the second, Los Angeles extended its lead to as much as 20 points on back-to-back baskets from James.

    In other games, it was the Clippers 130, Bulls 127; Jazz 96, Pistons 86; Thunder 129, Nets 116; Nuggets 114, Knicks 89; Wolves 96, Spurs 88; Warriors 106, Raptors 105.

    Los Angeles Clippers 130- Chicago Bulls 127

    Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points, leading the host Los Angeles Clippers to a 130-127 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

    Leonard hit 14 of 22 shots, including 7 of 9 3-pointers, and made a 3-pointer in the third quarter to top 10,000 career points.

    Paul George had 28 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, Lou Williams added 21 points and Marcus Morris Sr. chipped in 11 points and seven boards for the Clippers. Nicolas Batum recorded four of the Clippers’ 13 steals.